with the Bayou Cutableau. On the morning of the first instant, by order of Major-General Franklin, the troops of the Third division were ordered to march and encamp at Carrion Crow Bayou, while General Burbridge, with the troops under his command, was ordered to march down the Teche and cross it, and move by way of “Grand Coteau,” where the road from Vermillion to Opelousas crosses Muddy Bayou, about three miles from Carrion Crow Bayou, in the direction of Opelousas, and go into camp there on the north side of the bayou. Colonel Fonda, with about five hundred mounted infantry, was also ordered to encamp near him. The troops all moved and went into camp as ordered. The Nineteenth corps on the same day moved back to Carrion Crow Bayou, and on the following day to Vermillionville, leaving the Third and First brigades of the Fourth division of the Thirteenth corps, to hold the positions before named. The position of the troops, on the morning of the third instant, was then as follows: Brigadier-General Burbridge, with one brigade of the Fourth division, about one thousand two hundred strong, with one six-gun battery of ten-pounder Parrotts, and Colonel Fonda, with about five hundred mounted infantry and a section o fNimms's battery, on the north side of Muddy Bayou; and the Third division, General McGinnis commanding, three thousand strong, with one battery, at Carrion Crow Bayou, three miles in the rear of General Burbridge. The two bayous before named run, in an easterly direction, nearly parallel with each other, and along the stream there is a belt of timber about a hundred and fifty yards in width, while between the two is smooth level prairie. To the right of General Burbridge's position was an extensive and dense tract of woods, while on his front and left the country was high open prairie. About nine o'clock in the morning of the third, I received a note from General Burbridge, saying that the enemy had shown himself in some force. I immediately ordered out the Third division, and just as I got them into line, I received another note from General Burbridge, saying that the enemy had entirely disappeared. Ordering the division to remain under arms, I rode rapidly to the front, and learning from General Burbridge and Colonel Fonda that all was quiet, and that such troops of the enemy as had shown themselves had all fallen back, I started to return to my headquarters, near the Third division. When I had arrived at about midway between the two camps, I heard a rapid cannonade. Sending two members of my staff to the rear, to bring up the Third division, I rode back to the front, and crossing the bayou, and passing through the timber to the open ground, I soon discovered that we were assailed with terrible energy, by an overwhelming force, in front and on both flanks. Many of the troops had broken and were scattered over the field, and the utter destruction or capture of the whole force seemed imminent. The attack on the right through the woods was made by infantry, and though our troops fought most gallantly on that wing, they were compelled to give way before overwhelming numbers. Here it was that we lost most of our men in killed and wounded. The Twenty-third Wisconsin, Colonel Guppy commanding, Ninetysixth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Brown commanding, and Sixtieth Indiana, commanded by Captain Gatzler, and Seventeenth Ohio battery, Captain Rice commanding, fought with the greatest desperation, holding the enemy in check for a considerable length of time, but for which our entire train, with our artillery, would have been captured. As it was, General Burbridge was enabled to bring off every wagon, and all Government property, with the exception of one tenpounder Parrott gun, which was captured just as it was crossing the bayou, the horses having been shot. The bringing off of the section of Nimms's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Marland, after the regiment sent to its support had surrendered, extorted the admiration of every beholder. While the fight was proceeding, the Third division came up on a double-quick, but by the time they had reached the middle of the prairie, and one and a half miles from the scene of action, General Burbridge's command had been driven entirely out of the woods, while the rebel cavalry, in great force, charged through the narrow belt of timber on the left, and were corning down on his rear. By this time, the Third division had come within range, formed in line, and commenced shelling them, which immediately checked their further advance, while General Burbridge, who had again got his guns into position, opened a raking cross-fire upon them, when the whole force of the enemy retreated to the cover of the woods. Our whole force was deployed in line of battle, and moved as rapidly as possible through the woods, driving the enemy out of it, who retreated rapidly. I moved the troops up on their line of retreat about one and one half miles, while the cavalry pursued about three miles; my men having been brought up at a double-quick, were very much exhausted, and it was not possible to pursue farther. Our losses are twenty-six killed, one hundred and twentyfour wounded, and five hundred and sixty-six missing. The loss of the enemy in killed was about sixty; number of wounded not known, as they carried all but twelve off the ground; but wounded officers, who were taken prisoners, represent the number of wounded as being very large. We took sixty-five prisoners. Brigadier-General McGinnis, being very ill, was not able to be on the field. The troops of the division behaved admirably under the command of Brigadier-General Cameron, of the First, and Colonel Slack, of the Second brigade. The action of General Burbridge was gallant and judicious, from the time I first saw him until the close of the engagement. The conduct of the Sixty-seventh regiment Indiana infantry was inexplicable, and their surrender can only be attributed to the incompetency or cowardice of the commanding officer. They had not a single man killed. Our mounted force, under Colonels Fonda and Robinson, though very small, behaved
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Doc . 3 .-attack on the defences of Mobile .
Surrender of Fort Powell .
Battle of Olustee .
Battle of Pleasant Hill .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.